🎰 Happy about gambling expansion? Elgin, Aurora casinos, no. Rivers Casino, yes.

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The massive gambling expansion approved by state legislators over the weekend elicited different reactions from suburban casinos and.


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Hollywood Casino Aurora: Very poor casino - See traveler reviews, 10 candid photos, and great deals for Aurora, IL, at Tripadvisor.


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The Hollywood Casino is located by the Fox River in downtown Aurora. (Steve Lord/The Beacon-News). Riverboat gaming in Illinois as we.


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But while officials say the gaming tax revenue they've received is "significant," the casino's success has been tempered by lags in downtown redevelopment and economic realities that have cut into revenues and staffing. What it has done, though, is offer a consistent presence and flow of funds, allowing the city to afford more infrastructure improvements than otherwise would have been possible. O'Connor, an alderman when the casino opened who remains on the council, says the prospect of economic spillover from the casino to other businesses was seen as a nice perk. Hollywood Casino has been floating, in one way or another, on the Fox River in Aurora for 20 years, spanning at least two major pushes to revitalize the downtown of Illinois' second-largest city. Some of the businesses that opened to capitalize on the casino closed and downtown redevelopment stalled until when the Seize the Future Master Plan was completed. And the gaming operation, hosting as many as 12 three-hour cruises called "gambling sessions" each day, employed as many as 1, people in The first gamblers on City of Lights I and City of Lights II paid their slot machines in coins and played on smoke-filled, slowly moving boats with low ceilings and roughly 11, square feet of space. Mayor Tom Weisner admits some who thought Hollywood would be an instant boon for downtown restaurants, shops and hotels may have been disappointed. Three years after riverboat gambling was legalized in Illinois, City of Lights I and City of Lights II sailed their maiden voyages, offering four decks with slot machines and 33 table games to thousands of visitors excited for what was described as the venue's "art deco elegance with hokey Hollywood glitz. Hollywood Casino is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month after opening June 17, Celebrating its 20th anniversary this month, Hollywood Casino Aurora offers 1, slot machines, 26 table games, an entertainment stage, a steakhouse, a buffet and a deli in 53, square feet of space. Paul Michna Staff Photographer. On New York Street in downtown Aurora, Hollywood Casino has generated tax revenue to support downtown infrastructure and redevelopment projects since Bobbie Vallo of Naperville plays at Hollywood Casino Aurora during the establishment's 20th anniversary month. Nevertheless, Hollywood officials continue to make supporting community causes a priority, General Manager Himbert Sinopoli says. City and casino officials say they expect Hollywood to be a big part of that. Pierce, mayor at the time, says the establishment was expected to help in three ways: by providing jobs, boosting city revenue and enlivening a struggling downtown. Hollywood Casino sees its role in downtown Aurora as that of a catalyst. To find our more, read our FAQ. Unemployment in -- the year before Hollywood Casino opened -- was at Seven restaurants opened and construction began or was completed on two hotels between and as part of a redevelopment push aimed at making entertainment and museums the downtown's main draws. The casino is the theater's single largest ticket-purchaser and Rater says subscriber surveys show 10 percent of Paramount patrons also visit Hollywood. Technology has advanced, so gamblers play with tickets counting points they've earned until they cash out, and smoking has been banned. Cruises are no longer necessary, so the casino is open long hours without set "gambling sessions. As fusion grows between the Paramount and RiverEdge Park -- Aurora's newest entertainment venue that opened Friday along the eastern shore of the Fox River -- downtown may be taking a giant step toward becoming the entertainment district officials have long sought. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service , click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. Between and today, the casino doubled the size of one of its boats, then built a 53,square-foot "barge" that uses ballast pumps to create stability while still technically floating, as required by Illinois casino law. Paddock Publications Employee-Owned. Many of the casino's remaining employees, called cast members to play on the Hollywood theme, are participating in an ongoing effort to serve 10, meals to guests at the homeless resources center Hesed House. One reason for that is the casino is very much a one-stop shop, offering not only gaming but also a steakhouse, buffet and deli all under one roof. Aldermen didn't get tied up in "a big battle of morality" about whether to permit gambling in their town, but rather saw the casino as an opportunity, Alderman-at-Large Bob O'Connor says. In addition, supporters say, the casino melds nicely with Aurora's efforts to turn its downtown into a cultural center focusing on arts, entertainment and dining, especially after its Center Stage opened in July with bands and performances on the gaming floor. As the casino celebrates its 20th anniversary, Aurora officials say the decision to bring it downtown proved worth the gamble. Even if many patronize only the casino on some visits, Tim Rater, president and CEO of the Aurora Civic Center Authority, says there is some cross-promotion occurring between Hollywood and the nearby Paramount Theatre. More casinos have opened, including Elgin's Grand Victoria and Des Plaines' Rivers Casino , and those changes have not all been positive for Hollywood -- or downtown Aurora. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. Follow mariewilson9. In a city now home to nearly , people, such spillover "has just never happened. One year after Aurora squarely rejected off-track betting, a group of investors from Pratt Hotel Corp. Recommended for You. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. Hollywood Casino brought in so much money that the city eventually ran out of downtown projects and spread the funds further to operations, nonprofit groups and projects throughout the city.

Adorned with new carpet installed in April, Hollywood Casino Aurora is celebrating its 20th anniversary today. Search DailyHerald.

Aurora still betting on Hollywood Casino after 20 years. When it debuted shortly after two casinos opened in Joliet, officials hoped it would create an infusion of tax dollars to support downtown projects and a large number of new jobs, former Mayor David Pierce says. Hollywood Casino did not produce a golden ticket spelling immediate success for downtown, officials say. Hollywood Casino is celebrating two decades in business after opening June 17, Center Stage at Hollywood Casino Aurora opened in July , and General Manager Himbert Sinopoli said the performance spot adds bands and entertainment to the experience the casino offers. Article Comments. Marie Wilson. Keep the gambling experience fresh with changes like new carpeting, an upcoming front lobby renovation, and slots with names like "Invaders from the Planet Moolah," and people will come to check it out, getting a taste of downtown Aurora along the way, casino officials say.